West End is Brisbane’s cultural capital (in our completely biased opinion, given that we work and live in the same area). The clients had a young family and the old house a nice existing tree around which to build a new courtyard. The clients are very social, the brief in part was to provide a range of expanded social spaces as well as studies. Providing flexible spaces was important. The site is a tight ‘small lot’ with a difficult western aspect: we used large insulated sliding doors and lift up shutters to allow the house to be opened and closed as required. There are subtle connections between old and new through the use of simple forms, lightweight construction, materials and scale.
The existing fireplace was retained and in Brisbane’s short but fierce winter nights the living room can be closed up to provide a warm, cosy space. The rest of the house is seriously biased towards Brisbane’s hot and humid summers.
Floor Areas: existing: 116.7 m2; new internal 82.7 m2; new external: 16.9 m2.
Builder: Seiler and Yates Building Contractors;
Sheet Metal: Studio Steel;
Canvas: Creative Canvas and Blinds.
Status: construction (2010).